US Tuna Association to defend fishing rights at Fiji meeting

The US-based American Tunaboat Association is calling for a "level playing field" and the protection of US fishing rights at a regional fisheries meeting in Fiji.

The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission is meeting in Nadi next week with American Samoa and others calling for more fishing days on the high seas for the US fleet.

Restrictions have impacted fish deliveries to the two canneries in American Samoa.

ATA executive director Brian Hallman said the association's main approach would be to ensure that all management proposals are science based.

He said that in the past that had not always been the case and rules should be applied and enforced equally for all fishing fleets.

Mr Hallman said some Pacific states wanted to further restrict fishing on the high seas for political and economic reasons, and ATA would vehemently resist any such efforts.

 Photo: US Raffaello alongside mother ship Tai Fu No1.